Government and Gardens

These past couple days we have been all over the city! However, my two favorite destinations were the Houses of Parliament and John Keats’s house. The two locations may not be similar, they are both very beautiful and very influential.

The Houses of Parliament was so striking to me. The stained glass window, ornate detailing, and especially the portraits and statues of the various monarchs and Prime Ministers of the past. We were able do do an audio guided tour, and the history of how the government of England became the House of Lords and the House of Commons was so interesting to me. If I wasn’t a Psychology major I would be a History major, and British history is, in my opinion, one of the most fascinating parts of history. I could have walked around the Houses of Parliament all day learning about the history of Britain’s government.

John Keats’s house was also a sight to behold. The house is very unassuming on the outside, but it has a breathtaking garden and a lovely interior. The house is a small museum detailing Keats’s short life, and we were lucky enough to come in right as a tour was beginning. As a history nerd, I loved learning about Keats’s life and how he was influential to British romantic poetry. After, we sat in the garden and read a few of Keats’s poems, which made for a tranquil moment.

Though these two instances were quite different, they were both interesting to me because they gave me a better picture of parts of London’s culture. The Houses of Parliament showed me the part that is involved in government, that does not want to go back to the absolute monarchy of centuries past. Keats’s house showed me the more sensitive, romantic, and deep side of London. These two intertwine in the architecture of the Houses of Parliament. The decoration inside is flowing and artsy, like Keats’s poetry, but the outside is very pointed and exacting, like the more serious political side.

I’m extremely happy we are getting to experience all parts of London’s culture during this trip! Now if only I could figure out a way to look like less of a tourist while I experience it…

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